British Progressive Metallers Threshold have returned with album number 9, the first, though, in 5 years since the outstanding Dead Reckoning. It marks the recording return to Threshold of Damian Wilson for the first time since 1997, replacing Mac McDermott, who left the band before the Dead Reckoning tour and passed away last year. Wilson was with Threshold for a couple of the early albums, but I am most familiar with him from his work with Star One. I’m glad to see the lads back at it and March of Progress on Nuclear Blast is an enjoyable work.
Threshold have a unique sound that I quickly recognize. As the album kicks off with Ashes, I had a good feeling, because it was clearly Threshold. Ashes is a quicker tempo kind of song they tend to write, with hooks and melodies all around. The chorus was stuck in my head the whole first day I heard the song – exceedingly catchy. This is an outstanding way to open the album. They follow up with the thought-provoking and slower paced Return of the Thought Police, sounding quite a bit to me like a song that could be from the last Star One album. I think this has a lot to do not only with Wilson’s vocals, but the chorus and the construct of instrumentation during the verses, as well as the lyrical content. Nonetheless, it’s a good song. They go a bit more prog on the next track, evoking song writing of other successful Progressive Metal bands on Staring at the Sun. I am not saying they stole anything, just showing some influence. Nice use of odd time signatures in this song as well. Liberty Complacency Decency is next, starting as a slower heavy track, again with some excellent lyrics. It picks up steam a few minutes in with a simple, but cool guitar riff. The first half of the album concludes with Colophon, another tune with an infective chorus and great lyrics.
The Hours has some heavy riffing as well as a great melody carried by Wilson. It’s one of the longer songs here, clocking in at over 8 minutes. That’s Why We Came is the closest thing to a ballad on the album, not a great nor a terrible song. They bring back Metal elements with Don’t Look Down. I am completely digging the chorus on this one, a classic Threshold feeling to it for sure. Tremendous guitar work on this track with the solo and leads. Coda, follows, but is not the end of the album, as the name might suggest. Overall, it’s a good track, but again, not quite as catchy as some of the others. The album does conclude with The Rubicon, a 10+ minute tune. The band, though, seems to lose some steam with the last 2 tracks, as they don’t quite catch me like the rest of the album. They aren’t necessarily bad songs, but aren’t as compelling as most of the rest of the tunes.
Check out the song Ashes:
March of Progress is a really good album by a veteran band, coming across as a polished, professional work, worthy of admiration from Metal fans. There are a few tracks that aren’t quite as catchy as the remainder, but they don’t really detract much and wouldn’t be what I call bad songs. I can definitely recommend Threshold’s latest offering as a solid piece of Progressive Metal to fans of the band or the genre.
I hear the sound in a METAL way.